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Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Stephen L. Carter discusses his book, Invisible, at Politics and Prose on 10/23/18. When Thomas Dewey, the legendary New York City prosecutor and district attorney, went after organized crime in the 1930s, he selected twenty top-notch lawyers to help. All but one were white men. Eunice Hunton Carter (1899-1970), the team’s only black woman, turned out to be pivotal to Dewey’s eventual prosecution of underworld criminals, including Lucky Luciano. In his new book, Carter, the William Nelson...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Stephen L. Carter, Eunice Carter, Thomas Dewey
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Ben Macintyre discusses his book, The Spy and The Traitor , at Politics and Prose on 10/21/18. The son of two NKVD agents, Oleg Gordievsky (b. 1938) was all but destined to follow in his parents’ footsteps. But in 1973, shortly after the Soviets posted him to London, he became disillusioned with communism and for the next twelve years secretly worked for M16. He was so valuable in helping to end the Cold War that the British kept his identity a secret even from the CIA, which mounted a...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Ben Macintyre, The Spy and the Traitor, cold war, espionage, Oleg Gordievsky
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Caroline Bock discusses her book, Carry Her Home , and Jona Colson discusses his book, Said Through Glass , at Politics and Prose on 10/21/18. Washington Writers Publishing House is a non-profit literary organization established in 1973 to foster the work of writers in the Washington-Baltimore area, and it sponsors annual prizes in poetry and fiction. The 2018 fiction prize goes to Caroline Bock, a lecturer at Marymount College, winner of the 2016 Writer Magazine short story prize for...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Caroline Bock, Jona Colson, Washington Writers Publishing House
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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John Wray discusses his book, Godsend , at Politics and Prose, on 10/20/18. From the unforgettable evocation of schizophrenia in  Lowboy  to the eerie exploration of the mysteries of time in  The Lost Time Chronicles  and the Wild West in  Canaan’s Tongue , Wray has brilliantly plumbed other worlds and other psyches. His new novel, inspired by the life of “the American Taliban,” John Walker Lindh, tells the story of eighteen-year-old Aden Sawyer, whose quest for meaning leads her...
Topics: Politics and Prose, John Wray, Godsend, Alix Spiegel
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Jamie Susskind discusses his book, Future Politics , at Politics and Prose on 10/20/18. Susskind’s thought-provoking analysis examines how technology will change politics, from its redefinition of basic terms like “power” and “freedom” to its role in guiding, determining, and even forcing specific behavior. Examining the present, Susskind foresees some of the implications of Big Data’s potential for gathering information and deterring or encouraging specific actions as well as for...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Jamie Susskind, Future Politics
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Nate Chinen discusses his book, Playing Changes: Jazz For The New Century at Politics and Prose on 10/20/18. Taking his title from the jazz term for an improviser’s path through a chord progression, Chinen, director of editorial content at WBGO, chronicles the many ideological, technological, theoretical, and practical changes jazz musicians have charted in the last twenty years. Reflecting on the careers of musicians ranging from Wayne Shorter and Henry Threadgill to Steve Coleman, Kamasi...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Nate Chinen, Jazz, Lauren Onkey
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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In anticipation of  Nate Chinen's 7 p.m. presentation for his book  Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century , Politics and Prose is proud to partner with the Washington Performing Arts’  Mars Urban Arts Initiative  to present renowned D.C.-based saxophonist  Brad Linde , described as “the capital city’s contemporary cool king” by  Capitalbop , for an exclusive solo performance. Linde, also active as a bandleader, composer, and presenter in the Washington, D.C. metro area, is...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Brad Linde, jazz
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Jane Sherron de Hart discusses her book, Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life", at Politics and Prose on 10/19/18. In the first comprehensive biography of the 107th Supreme Court Justice, De Hart draws on extensive interviews with Ginsburg, her family, friends, and associates. A professor emerita of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, De Hart gives a revelatory portrait of Ginsburg at all stages of her life, from her upbringing in Brooklyn to her stellar academic career as a...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Jane Sherron de Hart, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, RBG
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award honors the best in Black literature in the United States and around the globe. Introduced in 2001, the Legacy Award was the first national award presented to Black writers by a national organization of Black writers. Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry honorees are selected in a juried competition. Join us to congratulate the 2018 nominees. Nominees appearing include: Ladee Hubbard ,  The Talented Ribkins , nominated for fiction Peter Kimani ,  Dance of the...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards, Ladee Hubbard, Peter Kimani, Sheryll Cashin, Tiya...
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Joseph J. Ellis discusses his book, American Dialogue, at Politics and Prose on  10/17/18. As Enlightenment thinkers, the American founders looked to the ancients for the wisdom they needed to build the future. Today, the founders’ own words and actions serve as an imperfect but important touchstone to help guide us through challenging times. Ellis, the award-winning author of books including  The Quartet, Founding Brothers , and  American Sphinx , uses the past to frame illuminating and...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Joseph J. Ellis, American Dialogue
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Nicole Chung discusses her memoir, All That You Can Ever Know, at Politics and Prose on 10/6/18. The adopted daughter of white parents, Chung grew up with the cliché that her Korean immigrant parents had let her go so that she could have a better life. This told her nothing about who she was, nor did it help her find her place in small-town Oregon where she faced prejudices her adoptive family was blind to. As she recounts her search for the truth about her biological family, Chung,...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Nicole Chung, All That You Can Ever Know
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Stephen Fried discusses his book, Rush, at Politics and Prose on 10/14/18. One of the youngest signatories of the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Rush (1746-1813) was not only the personal physician to Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson—he was a founding father himself. Fried, the award-winning author of books including Appetite for America, draws on previously unpublished documents and Rush’s extensive correspondence with his better-known...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Stephen Fried, Kay Redfield Jamison, Benjamin Rush
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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John B. Judis discusses his book, The Nationalist Revival , at Politics and Prose on 10/13/18. Judis follows up his bestselling 2016  The Populist Explosion , one of the first books to explain the resurgence of populism and the rise of Trump, with a detailed exploration of newly strong nativist and xenophobic movements worldwide. Putting today’s iterations in historical as well as global context, Judis, editor at large for  Talking Points Memo  and a former senior editor at  The New...
Topics: Politics and Prose, John B. Judis, Nationalist Revival
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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In acclaimed poetry collections including  Blood Lyrics  and  Colosseum , Katie Ford has used a deeply spiritual lens to probe the meaning of suffering in the world, meditating on the central mystery of Christianity, the violence of the Roman Empire, and the disaster of Hurricane Katrina. In her fourth and most personal book, she draws on the metaphysical tradition to chart the end of a marriage. In a rigorously beautiful, often wrenching sequence of thirty-nine sonnets, Ford—like Dante,...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Katie Ford, Susan Stewart, poetry
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Deborah Blum discusses her book, The Poison Squad , at Politics and Prose on 10/10/18. When the Food and Drug Act was passed in 1906, it was called “Dr. Wiley’s Law,” in recognition of Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley (1844-1930), who, as chief chemist of the agriculture department, had engaged in a twenty-three-year battle for food safety and consumer protection. When Wiley began his campaign in 1883, food producers were knowingly using toxic chemicals to preserve foods; milk often contained...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Deborah Blum, The Poison Squad
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Casey Gerald discusses his memoir, There Will Be No Miracles Here, at Politics and Prose on 10/9/18.  Gerald’s extraordinary memoir cuts a swath through a dizzying number of socio-cultural sectors, enacting an American dream that questions the very assumptions behind it. Growing up in Dallas, Gerald was immersed in his grandfather’s evangelical church, a source of stability when his mother’s disability checks could barely support the family. When he was recruited to play football for...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Casey Gerald, There Will Be No Miracles Here
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Jessica Hopper discusses her memoir, Night Moves , at Politics and Prose on 10/8/18. Praised in  The Guardian  as “one of a handful of music journalists whose every new piece feels like an event,” Hopper began writing criticism as a teenager in Minnesota, and came into her own in Chicago in the early years of the twenty-first century. Drawing on diaries she kept between 2004 and 2009, Hopper’s vivid memoir certainly counts as an event. The book chronicles her experiences as a DJ,...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Jessica Hopper, Katie Alice Greer
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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James Miller discusses his book, Can Democracy Work? , at Politics and Prose on 10/7/18. As Miller shows in his often surprising history of democracy, the idea has always been subject to conflicting interpretations and has remained more of an ideal than a fully realized form of government. The ancient Greeks saws elections as corrupt and, ironically, undemocratic, and chose leaders by lottery. The French revolutionaries, while unhappy with monarchy, didn’t trust “the people.” The United...
Topics: Politics and Prose, James Miller, democracy
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Allan J. Lichtman discusses his book, The Embattled Vote in America , at Politics and Prose on 10/7/18. While voting is the sine qua non of a democracy, the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee the right to vote. Rather, suffrage has been left to the states, and over time enfranchisement has been restricted and expanded as suits political circumstances. While this structural weakness was left to the nation by the founders, Lichtman argues that subsequent generations are guilty of not redressing...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Allan J. Lichtman, voter suppresision
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Bob Drury and Tom Clavin discuss their book, Valley Forge, at Politics and Prose on 10/7/18. In their new book, the authors of  The Heart of Everything That Is  and  Lucky 666 , Drury, contributing editor and foreign correspondent for  Men’s Health , and Clavin, investigative features correspondent for  Manhattan Magazine , tell the story of the terrible winter that transformed a demoralized group of citizen soldiers into a professional fighting force. Showing that December 1777 at...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Bob Drury, Tom Clavin, Valley Forge, Revolutionary War
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Andre Dubus III discusses his book, Gone So Long , at Politics and Prose on 10/3/18. Written with the penetrating psychological insight and emotional power that made his acclaimed  The House of Sand and Fog  unforgettable, Dubus’s first novel in ten years tells the stories of a long estranged father and daughter. Susan Dunn, her life once again at an impasse, prepares to start over.  But her failing marriage, stalled academic career, and abandoned novel are only symptoms of a more...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Andre Dubus, Laura Lippman
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Gus Russo and Eric Dezenhall discuss their book, Best of Enemies , at Politics and Prose on 10/2/18. Russo and Dezenhall’s suspenseful book has all the trappings of a classic Cold War spy saga. Set in Washington in 1978, it starts with top agents from the CIA and KGB working to cultivate each other as informants. But rather than following a plot of betrayal and treason, the story of Jack Platt and Gennady Vasilenko turned into the tale of an unlikely friendship. The first to tell this unusual...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Gus Russo, Eric Dezenhall, Best of Enemies, Cold War, espionage
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Hampton Sides discusses his book, On Desperate Ground , at Politics and Prose on 10/6/18. In his latest narrative history, Sides, author of In the Kingdom of Ice and Hellhound on His Trail, brings his impeccable research and deft storytelling skills to a detailed account of one of the most difficult military operations in American history. The ground was laid for the Battle of the Choisin Reservoir in October 1950 when General MacArthur, Supreme Commander of UN troops in Korea, assured...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Hampton Sides, Korean War
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Candace Bushnell discusses her book, Terrorism, Betrayal, and Resilience, at Politics and Prose on 10/6/18. Bushnell, former U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, was meeting with the Kenyan Trade Minister on August 7, 1998, when al-Qaeda bombed the embassy in Nairobi, killing twelve embassy staff and more than two hundred Kenyans. Hit by flying glass and briefly unconscious, Bushnell began overseeing rescue operations as soon as she was able, and then pressed American and Kenyan authorities for...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Candace Bushnell
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Sarah Weinman discusses her book, The Real Lolita , at Politics and Prose on 9/12/18. Nabokov’s  Lolita , the story of a middle-aged man obsessed with a twelve-year-old girl, has fascinated and troubled readers since its publication in 1955. As Weinman shows in her revelatory history of a 1948 kidnapping case, the novel owed as much to actual events as it did to Nabokov’s imagination. The real-life “Lolita” was Sally Horner, eleven-years-old when she was caught stealing by a...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Sarah Weinman, Laura Lippman, Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita, Sally Horner, True Crime
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Eli Saslow discusses his book, Rising Out Of Hatred, at Politics and Prose on 9/17/18. Derek Black—son of Don Black, founder of the white supremacist website Stormfront, and godson of KKK Grand Wizard David Duke—grew up schooled in racist ideology. The heir apparent to the movement, by age nineteen he hosted his own nationalist radio show, unknown to his fellow students at New College Florida. When his cover was blown, he was largely ostracized, but a few people approached him, wanting to...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Eli Saslow, Derek Black, Washington Post
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Anand Giridharadas discusses his book, Winners Take All, at Politics and Prose on 9/11/18. Giriharadas’s bracing call to action starts with a plea to the global elite to practice “followership” rather than leadership and simply stay out of the way of those trying to resolve the problems the wealthy have in many cases caused and are likely  to perpetuate. Exposing philanthropical efforts to “change the world” as hypocritical schemes that often reframe social problems as market...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Anand Giridharadas, Winners Take All, philanthropy, David Leonhardt
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Jill Lepore discusses her book, These Truths, at Politics and Prose on 10/4/18 The United States might seem too vast, too contradictory, and too various for a one-volume comprehensive history, but in this rich and accessible work, Lepore shows that these are the very traits that define the nation. With Jefferson’s three truths—political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people—as her fulcrum, Lepore explores how well the country has hewed to its originating ideals,...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Jill Lepore, These Truths, American History
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Juan Williams discusses his book, What The Hell Do You Have To Lose? , at Politics and Prose on 9/30/18. Williams takes his title from Trump’s campaign challenge to African-American voters, and his new book tells the president just exactly what people of color stand to lose under his administration. The author of the classic Eyes on the Prize, still in print after thirty years, Williams, cohost of FoxNews’s The Five, is one of the nation’s foremost civil rights historians. Here, he...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Juan Williams, Donald Trump
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Isabel Sawhill discusses her book, The Forgotten Americans , at Politics and Prose on 9/29/18. In her trenchant analysis of economic realities for the working poor, Sawhill, a Brookings senior fellow recently named a Distinguished Fellow by the American Economic Association, argues that policies focusing solely on productivity, efficiency, and the bottom line are insufficient. Rather, to effect meaningful, lasting solutions to inequality, both the public and the private sectors need to take...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Isabel Sawhill, economics
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Ben Reiter discusses his book, Astroball , at Politics and Prose on 9/29/18. A senior writer for  Sports Illustrated,  Reiter predicted in a 2014 cover story that the Houston Astros, then the worst baseball team the sport had seen in decades, would win the World Series in 2017. Critics scoffed—but Reiter was vindicated by events. What lay behind both his foresight and the Astros’ astonishing turn-around is the riveting story of a revolutionary analytics system that blends human expertise...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Ben Reiter, Astroball, baseball
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Justin A. Frank discusses his book, Trump on the Couch , at Politics and Prose on 9/29/18. In the third of his series of psychoanalytic presidential profiles, Frank, author of  Bush on the Couch  and  Obama on the Couch , gives a full professional assessment of how Trump became Trump. Based on two years of intensive study of Trump’s tweets, speeches, interviews, and overall behavior, Frank, a clinical professor of psychiatry at George Washington University with more than forty years of...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Justin A. Frank, Donald Trump, psychology
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Paige Williams discusses her book, The Dinosaur  Artist, at Politics and Prose on 9/28/18. Eric Prokopi grew up in Florida, an enthusiastic swimmer whose interest in diving for shark teeth grew into an obsession with fossils. He became an expert at discovering, preparing, and   marketing them to collectors and museums, and in 2012 he sold a nearly complete skeleton of a  Tyrannosaurus bataar  for over a million dollars at a New York auction. But almost at once, questions arose about the...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Paige Williams, The Dinosaur Artist
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Ben Fountain discusses his book, Beautiful Country Burn Again, and Elliot Ackerman discusses his book, Waiting For Eden, with Andy Kroll at Politics and Prose on 9/27/18. Writing with the power and immediacy that earned him the National Book Critics’ Circle Award for his novel,  Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk , Fountain here turns to nonfiction for an urgent assessment of the state of the country in the wake of the 2016 elections. Drawing from the series he wrote for  The Guardian  in...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Elliot Ackerman, Ben Fountain, Andy Kroll
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Jason Stanley discusses his book, How Fascism Works, at Politics and Prose on 9/25/18. In this clear and direct primer, Stanley, the award-winning author of  How Propaganda Works , draws on a wide range of history, philosophy, sociology, and critical race theory to define fascism, explain its mechanisms, and help people identify its red flags. At its most basic level, fascism is simply a movement that achieves power by dividing a population. A country can have fascist strains without actually...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Jason Stanley, How Fascism Works
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Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Sarah Smarsh discusses her book, Heartland , at Politics and Prose on 9/24/18. Smarsh, a commentator and widely published writer on socioeconomics, class, politics, and public policy, grew up in the fifth generation of a working-class family in Kansas. The product of a long line of wheat farmers on one side, teen mothers on the other, Smarsh was raised by her grandmother on a farm thirty miles from Wichita. Training her professional eye on her personal experience, she forces us to see how lives...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Sarah Smarsh, Heartland
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Miriam Pawel discusses her book, The Browns of California , at Politics and Prose on 9/23/18. For almost half of California’s modern history, the state has been governed by either Pat Brown or his son, the current governor, Jerry Brown—who will end his fourth term in 2018 having served as both the youngest and oldest California governor. In many ways, the story of the Brown family is also the story of California, and in this wide-ranging chronicle, Pawel tells both. A Pulitzer Prize-winning...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Miriam Pawel, Bill Press, Pat Brown, Jerry Brown, The Browns of California
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Edward G. Lengel discusses his book, Never in Finer Company , at Politics and Prose on 9/23/18. Fought between September 26 and November 11, 1918, the Battle of the Argonne Forest is famous for being one of the largest military engagements in U.S. history, and the second deadliest. In the second week of the offensive, nine companies of U.S. 77th Division broke through enemy lines, only to be surrounded and isolated by German forces and battered by mortar fire for the next seven days. Lengel’s...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Edward G. Lengel, WWI, Never in Finer Company
Community Audio
Feb 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Steve Usdin discusses his book, Bureau of Spies, at Politics and Prose on 9/22/18. In his fascinating and unsettling history of the intersection of spycraft and journalism from the 1940s to the present, Usdin reminds us that foreign interference in American political affairs is nothing new. Drawing on extensive interviews with retired CIA, NSA, FBI, and KGB officers, as well as declassified and leaked intelligence documents, Usdin, author of  Engineering Communism  and the Washington editor...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Steve Usdin, espionage, Bureau of Spies
Community Audio
Feb 3, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Shabnam Samuel discusses her memoir, A Fractured Life, at Politics and Prose on 9/22/18. A testament to courage, Samuel’s moving and evocative memoir recounts her childhood growing up in a small town in India, raised by her Indian grandfather and Russian grandmother. She never knew her parents, but from whispers of “ poor child… orphanage… how could a mother do such a thing ?” she wove fantasies of international spies. As she struggles to articulate the truth about her family, Samuel...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Shabnam Samuel
Community Audio
Feb 3, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Shane Bauer discusses his book, American Prison , at Politics and Prose on 9/21/18. Bauer’s eye-opening account of his time as a guard in a private prison in Louisiana became the most-read feature in  Mother Jones  history. Now he expands on his National Magazine Award-winning exposé, interweaving his experiences with a detailed history of U.S. private prisons. Deliberately unaccountable to the public, for-profit prisons have no incentive to maintain the health of their prisoners or to...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Shane Bauer, American Prison, Mass Incarceration
Community Audio
Feb 3, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Elizabeth Spires- A Memory of the Future: Poems Elegant and reflective, the poems of Spires’s seventh collection focus on timeless questions of identity, memory, and aging. Grounded in Zen meditativeness, Asian art, and the concrete realities of everyday life in Manhattan and on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the book uses houses as both landmarks and metaphors as the poet, a professor at Goucher College, seeks to define the boundary between the inner and outer selves....
Topics: Politics and Prose, Elizabeth Spires, Michael Collier, poetry
Community Audio
Feb 3, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Bethany McClean discusses her book, Saudi America , at Politics and Prose on 9/16/18. McLean made her name as co-author of  The Smartest Guys in the Room , which told the story of Enron, one of the biggest corporate scandals in American history. Her new book investigates fracking, another enterprise that comes with extravagant promises it may or may not be able to fulfill. While extraction of natural gas from resource-rich areas such as the Permian Basin in Texas have made the U.S. the...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Bethany McClean, Saudi America, fracking
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Feb 3, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Soraya Chemaly discusses her book, Rage Becomes Her , at Politics and Prose on 9/16/18. In women’s ongoing struggle for equal rights, one right that’s gotten little attention is women’s right to be angry. In this eye-opening examination of the taboo of women’s rage, Chemaly, a writer, speaker, and director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project, shows how cultural norms that prohibit women from expressing anger—or that demean it as “hysteria”--harm both women and society:...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Soraya Chemaly, Jill Filipovic
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Feb 3, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Michele Gelfand discusses her book, Rule Makers, Rule Breakers , at Politics and Prose on 9/15/18. Gelfand’s pioneering research on cultural norms and how they affect both group and individual behavior took her to some fifty countries. In each place she consulted with political scientists, anthropologists, neuroscientists, and other experts to ask one key question: was there pressure to conform to certain rules, or were people left to decide for themselves how to act? Gelfand, professor of...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Michele Gelfand
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Feb 3, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Carol Anderson discusses her book, One Person, No Vote , at Politics and Prose on 9/14/18. Anderson won the National Book Critics Circle Award for  White Rage,  her revelatory analysis of the nation’s systematic repression of African-American social and political gains. Her new book is an equally astute history of voter suppression in America. Focusing on the 2013  Shelby  ruling that effectively eviscerated the 1965 Voting Rights Act by invalidating two key provisions regarding federal...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Carol Anderson, Voter suppression
Community Audio
Feb 3, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Somaiya Daud discusses her novel, Mirage, with fellow novelist Jessica Spotswood at Politics and Prose on 9/10/18. Sixteen-year old Amani dreams of life beyond her moon. Her dreams of travel and exploration are realized suddenly when she is kidnapped by the brutal Vathek Empire. It turns out that Amani is nearly identical to the loathed Vathek Princess Maram. Amani is ordered to serve as body-double for the princess, making appearances and serving as a target for public vitriol. The court is...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Somaiya Daud, Jessica Spotswood
Community Audio
Feb 3, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Norman Eisen discusses his book, The Last Palace , at Politics and Prose on 9/9/18. Eisen’s rich profile of Prague’s Petschek Villa, now the residence of the U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic, combines political history and memoir for an illuminating look at Europe in the last century. The house was built in the late 1920s during the brief flourishing of the first republic of Czechoslovakia by Otto Petschek, scion of a wealthy German-Jewish family. During World War II it was occupied by...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Norman Eisen
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Feb 3, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Preti Taneja discusses her novel, We That Are Young, at Politics and Prose on 9/8/18. Taneja’s masterful debut novel recasts  King Lear  as the story of the elite Devraj family and the far-reaching operations of their Delhi-based India Company. As the narrative opens, the aging patriarch has stepped down, his illegitimate son has returned from the U.S., and his youngest daughter, rejecting an arranged marriage, has disappeared. The two eldest daughters assume leadership of the Company, and...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Preti Taneja, Madhulika Sikka
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Feb 3, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Lisa Margonelli discusses her book, Underbug , at Politics and Prose on 9/8/18. In the course of researching her comprehensive history of fossil fuels,  Oil on the Brain , Margonelli learned of a theory that would turn the wood that termites consume into gasoline. That led not to a revolutionary biofuel, but to Margonelli’s decade-long obsession with termites. In her compelling and often astounding book, she follows researchers to Namibia, Australia, Nevada, and Arizona as they study termite...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Lisa Margonelli
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Feb 3, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Steven Johnson discusses his book, Farsighted , at Politics and Prose on 9/7/18. In an age more and more defined by instant responses, quick results, and short attention spans, some decisions—where to live, what business to start, how to end a war—still have long-term consequences and demand careful and sustained consideration. Writing with the engaging mix of storytelling and analysis that have characterized earlier works such as  Wonderland  and  Where Good Ideas Come From,  Johnson...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Steven Johnson
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Feb 3, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt discuss their book, The Coddling of the American Mind , at Politics and Prose on 9/5/18. In their provocative September 2015  Atlantic  article, the authors identified a tendency at today’s colleges and universities “to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense.” Expanding their study of this “safety culture,” Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and a First...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Greg Lukianoff, Jonathan Haidt
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Jan 23, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Joram Piatigorsky discusses his memoir, The Speed of Dark , at Politics and Prose on 1/12/19. In February 1940, five months after his family fled what was fast becoming Hitler’s Europe, Piatigorsky was born in Elizabethtown, New York. The son of Jacqueline de Rothschild, a descendent of the French banking family, and Gregor Piatigorsky, the Ukrainian-born cellist, Piatigorsky  fils  eschewed art and finance for science. Yet he continued to be influenced by his extraordinary family even as...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Joram Piatigorsky
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Jan 16, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Zach Vertin discusses his book, A Rope From the Sky , at Politics and Prose on 1/10/19. South Sudan achieved independence from Sudan in July 2011, marking the end of Africa's longest civil war. The new republic’s birth was celebrated not only by its long-oppressed people, but by three U.S. presidents and the legions of Americans who championed their struggle. But South Sudan’s guerillas-turned-governors soon turned their guns on one another, plunging their new nation into chaos. Drawing...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Zach Vertin, Elise Labbot, Sudan, South Sudan
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Sam Anderson discusses his book, Boom Town , on Politics and Prose on 8/30/18. Oklahoma City’s recent history has been marked by both the national tragedy of the 1995 Murrah building bombing and the inspiring near-triumph of the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team in the  2012-’13 season. As Anderson shows in his lively social history, the town has been a fascinating place right from its first, chaotic moment, when thousands of people rushed to stake their claims in a “Land Run” in...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Sam Anderson, Boom Town, Oklahoma City
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Earl Swift discusses his book, Chesapeake Requiem , at Politics and Prose on 8/30/18. Swift, a longtime reporter for Norfolk’s  Virginian-Pilot,  spent most of two years living with the waterman of Tangier Island, the last off-shore fishing community in the Virginia waters of Chesapeake Bay. Roughly 1.3 square miles, the island has been steadily losing ground as the oceans rise, and is projected to be uninhabitable in 25 to 50 years. It would cost upwards of a billion dollars to build a...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Earl Swift, Chesapeake Bay, conservation
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Rick Wilson discusses his book, Everything Trump Touches Dies , at Politics and Prose on 8/28/18. Wilson is a seasoned Republican political strategist well versed in the art of negative ads. He’s also been a leader of the Never Trump movement, and his searing analysis of the president, from the early days of Trump’s campaign through his first year in office, is a no-holds-barred critique of the damage Trump has done to the country, the Republican Party, and the conservative movement....
Topics: Politics and Prose, Rick Wilson, Donald Trump, Never Trumpers, Republican Party
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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William Egginton discusses his book, The Splintering of the American Mind , at Politics and Prose on 8/27/18. In this trenchant analysis, Egginton argues that our current national crisis is the result of personal identity ideals overwhelming our sense of community. This imbalance is especially pronounced on college campuses, where identity politics is the norm. Along with turning institutions of higher learning into exclusive, expensive clubs for the cultural and economic elite, this focus on...
Topics: Politics and Prose, William Egginton, Academia
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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William Oldfield and Victoria Bruce discuss their book, Inspector Oldfield and the Black Hand Society , at Politics and Prose on 8/24/18. Before the Mafia, there was the Black Hand, a Sicilian-American secret society that terrorized and extorted Italian immigrants across the country. Their victims lived in fear and shame and seldom spoke out, local law enforcers were reluctant to get involved, and the FBI wasn’t yet in full force. Enter Frank Oldfield, the nation’s 156 th  Postal...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Victoria Bruce, Postal Inspectors, William Oldfield
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Chris Hedges discusses his book, America: The Farewell Tour, at Politics and Prose on 8/22/18. A longtime foreign correspondent, Hedges has reported from more than fifty countries. His latest book is a profound exploration of one of the most troubled: today’s United States. Hedges, author of  American Fascists  and  War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning,  cites the opioid crisis, the increases in gambling and magical thinking, and the explosion of xenophobia as symptoms of a society that...
Topics: Politics and Prose. Chris Hedges, America: The Farewell Tour, Politics, Climate Change, Income...
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Steven R. Weisman discusses his book, The Chosen Wars, at Politics and Prose on 8/23/18. Weisman ’s compelling history argues that, in many ways, the story of American Judaism is also a story of America itself. Starting with the arrival of the first Jews in New Amsterdam, Weisman, PIIE vice president for publications and communications and award-winning author of  The Great Tax Wars,  traces the transformation of Old World religious traditions into today’s Reform, Conservative, and...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Steven R. Weisman, Sally Quinn, Judaism
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Stanley Plumly discusses his book, Elegy Landscapes , at Politics and Prose on 8/21/18. An award-winning poet, Plumly has turned to prose in recent years with his insightful  Posthumous Keats  and  The Immortal Evening. His new book continues his exploration of the Romantic era, focusing on the lives and work of  John Constable (1776-1837) and J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). Considered Britain’s premier landscape painters, the men were very different in temperament, personal experience, and...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Stanley Plumly, Art History
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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C.J. Chivers discusses his book, The Fighters , at Politics and Prose on 8/20/18. Chivers, author of  The Gun,  first saw combat as a Marine Infantry Officer in the Persian Gulf War, and in the last twelve years has reported from the battlefronts of Afghanistan and Iraq. In his new book, which grew from a Pulitzer Prize-winning  New York Times Magazine  article, he focuses on six of the nearly 2.5 million Americans who have served in these conflicts. Through the experiences of an F-14...
Topics: Politics and Prose, C.J. Chivers, Afghanistan, The Fighters
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Nick Pyenson discusses his book, Spying on Whales , at Politics and Prose on 8/17/18. Pyenson is a paleontologist and “reading whale bones is what I do,” he says. These bones have told some amazing stories: whales outweigh dinosaurs and are the largest creatures ever to have lived on Earth, and their songs can travel some 900 miles underwater. But while we know whales descended from four-legged land-dwelling animals the size of a dog, we don’t know when and how they developed their...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Nick Pyenson, paleontology, whales
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Matthew Horace discusses his book, The Black and The Blue , at Politics and Prose on 8/16/18. Seven years into his twenty-eight year career as an officer, Horace found himself face-down on the ground with a white colleague pointing a gun at his head. That moment crystallizes the “toxic brotherhood” and endemic racism Horace examines in this unflinching look at how police interact with Black America. Now a law enforcement and security contributor to CNN and  The Wall Street Journal, ...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Matthew Horace, Black Lives Matter
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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David Quammen discusses his book, The Tangled Tree , at Politics and Prose on 8/15/18. Darwin famously described evolution as an elegantly branching tree of life. But as scientists have pursued molecular phylogenetics—the process of "reading the deep history of life and the patterns of relatedness” from DNA sequences—they’ve found that nature is more complicated, that life’s branches cross and converge and tangle in previously unsuspected ways. Quammen, the author of more than a...
Topics: Politics and Prose, David Quammen, The Tangled Tree, biology, Darwin
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Keith O'Brien discusses his book, Fly Girls , at Politics and Prose on 8/14/18. America’s favorite spectator sport in the 1920s and ‘30s was airplane racing. Men who flew were heroes; women, while allowed to fly, were ridiculed. Of the few hundred women nationwide who took to the skies, five banded together, determined to break into the men-only races and prove they were strong, smart, and “stable” enough to be pilots. O’Brien’s riveting account is at once an adventure, an...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Keith O'Brien, Fly Girls, aviation, Amelia Earhart
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Laura Van Den Berg discusses her novel, The Third Hotel, at Politics and Prose on 8/13/18. Van den Berg’s second novel is set in Havana where the recently widowed Clare is attending the Festival of New Latin American Cinema. Her husband had been a film professor, and after she attends a movie he’d especially wanted to see, she finds him standing outside. As she pursues what can only be a ghost, Clare witnesses strange, even impossible occurrences. Reality becomes a mélange of memories,...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Laura Van Den Berg, The Third Hotel
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Arne Duncan discusses his book, How Schools Work , at Politics and Prose on 8/12/18. Now serving on the board of Communities in Schools, Duncan has spent nearly three decades working in all levels of education, most prominently as Secretary of Education under Obama. His book is an urgent state-of-the schools report that looks hard at why American kids have fallen behind their peers in so many other countries. Stating at the outset that today “education runs on lies,” Duncan tracks the lies,...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Arne Duncan, education, education policy
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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P&P’s series of teach-ins addressing the most urgent political problems of our day returns with a discussion of gun control in the United States. What are the best ways to prevent further deaths by gun violence in this country? What are the most rapidly attainable ways? What actions are available for private citizens to take, and how can we keep ourselves and our communities safe? Participants include Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign; Zion Kelly, gun control activist and...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Gun Control, March for Our Lives
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Keith Gessen discusses his novel, A Terrible Country , at Politics and Prose on 8/7/18. Coming ten years after his acclaimed  All the Sad Young Literary Men , Gessen’s second novel was worth the wait. Unfolding in 2008, the narrative focuses on Andrei, who leaves his foundering dissertation and fading romance in New York to return to Moscow and care for his aging grandmother. Moving into the apartment she was given by Stalin, Andrei prepares to negotiate Putin’s Russia. Though he makes...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Keith Gessen
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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David D. Kirkpatrick discusses his book, Into the Arms of the Soldiers , at Politics and Prose on 8/10/18. Now based in London, Kirkpatrick was  The  New York Times  Cairo bureau chief from 2011 through 2015. He arrived in Egypt on the eve of the January Revolution, and his comprehensive account of the Egyptian revolt explains what set off the uprisings and why the democratic election was overturned by a military coup, as well as illuminating America’s role in all this. Juxtaposing events...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Egypt, Middle East, David D. Kirkpatrick, Lulu Garcia-Navarro
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Beth Macy discusses her book, Dopesick , at Politics and Prose on 8/9/18. In 2016 opioids killed an average of 10.3 people per 100,000 in this country. Today, there are some 2.6 million people addicted to opiates nationwide, and overdoses are the leading cause of death for those under age 50. In her compassionate and revelatory investigation of the country’s twenty-plus year opioid crisis, Macy gives these statistics meaning by telling the stories of hard-hit western Virginia communities....
Topics: Politics and Prose, Beth Macy, Dan Vergano, Dopesick, opioid crisis
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Roy Scranton discusses his book, We're Doomed. Now What? , at Politics and Prose on 8/8/18. A fearless and original writer, Scranton has won comparisons with Orwell for his depiction of the Iraq war in his debut novel,  War Porn,  and his presentation of climate change in the framework of both geological history and Zen in  Learning to Die in the Anthropocene.  His new collection of essays builds on his previous work to explore the realities of violence, loss, and the uncertainties of a...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Roy Scranton, Climate Change
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Robert W. Turner II discusses his book, Not For Long , at Politics and Prose on 8/6/18. As the public becomes more aware of the health risks associated with football, other aspects of pro ball are also coming under scrutiny. Turner, a research scientist in the Center on Biobehavioral Health Disparities Research at Duke who once played professionally, faults the NFL for a labor agreement that provides little job security and few health and retirement benefits, while its refusal to share power...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Robert W. Turner, Football, NFL
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Jan 9, 2019 Politics and Prose
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Amber Tamblyn discusses her novel, Any Man, at Politics and Prose at the Wharf on 8/2/18. An outspoken critic of today’s rape culture, Tamblyn wrote in a recent  Glamour  column that women can change the way women are talked about and treated. In her phenomenal debut novel, the actress, activist, and poet does just that. The book is told from the perspectives of the different men who have been attacked by an elusive female serial rapist named Maude. The police have few clues, the media have...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Amber Tamblyn, Any Man
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Dec 9, 2018 Politics and Prose
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Paul French discusses his book, City of Devils, at Politics and Prose on 7/15/18 1930s Shanghai was less the “Paris of the Orient” than it was a shadowy badlands. It attracted outlaws from all over the world, including Jack Riley, an ex-U.S. Navy boxer and prison escapee who became “Lucky” Jack, king of the slot machines, and Joe Farren, a Jew who fled Vienna’s ghetto and recreated himself as “Dapper” Joe, a dancehall impresario. Writing with journalistic precision and novelistic...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Paul French, City of Devils, Shanghai, True Crime
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Dec 9, 2018 Politics and Prose
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James Crabtree discusses his book, The Billionaire Raj, at Politics and Prose on 7/15/18. Today India’s economy is expanding faster than China’s, but the bulk of the new wealth—some 60% of it—has gone to just 1% of the population. In this eye-opening look at India’s radically unequal society and what it could mean for the country’s future, Crabtree, former Mumbai bureau chief for the  Financial Times,  shows us the lives of the “Bollygarchs,” whose wealth, conspicuous...
Topics: Politics and Prose, James Crabtree, India
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Dec 9, 2018 Politics and Prose
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Keith Law discusses his book, "Smart Baseball", at Politics and Prose on 7/14/18. In this thorough and accessible primer on sabermetrics, Law, a senior baseball writer for ESPN Insider and an analyst for ESPN's  Baseball Tonight,  uses a winning combination of anecdotes, logic, clear explanations, and examples from games throughout the sport’s history to expose the flaws in the old orthodoxies that have hindered America’s pastime for too long. Replacing the inefficient save...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Keith Law, Jay Jaffee, baseball
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Dec 9, 2018 Politics and Prose
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Dan Kaufman discusses his book, The Fall of Wisconsin, at Politics and Prose on 7/11/18. Originally from Wisconsin, Kaufman has covered the state’s dramatic political transformation for years, notably in a 2015 cover story for the  New York Times   Magazine . For more than a century Wisconsin had been a bastion of progressivism, a cradle of the labor and environmental movements, and home of the Wisconsin Idea, which promoted expertise for the public good. Then in 2010, Republicans, led...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Dan Kaufman, Seymour Hersh, Wisconsin, Scott Walker
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Dec 9, 2018 Politics and Prose
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1968 was the culmination and the defining point of the 1960s. That year, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated, the Tet offensive was changing the course of the Vietnam War, and demonstrations disrupted the Democratic National convention—all to a soundtrack of the Beatles, Janis Joplin, Marvin Gaye, and Dylan. Kaiser, a journalist and principal contributor to the documentary  1968: The Year That Changed America , wrote this comprehensive chronicle in 1998, drawing on...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Charles Kaiser, Clara Bingham, 1960s, 60s, American history
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Dec 9, 2018 Politics and Prose
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James Robenalt discusses his book, Ballots and Bullets, at Politics and Prose on 7/7/18.  Robenalt’s account of racial violence in Cleveland could be taken from today’s headlines, but the incident he reports happened on July 23, 1968. In a clash between black nationalists and police, six people were killed and at least fifteen injured. The shootings led to heavy rioting, but what exactly set them off is still unclear. Recreating the days in question, Robenalt, a Cleveland-based trial...
Topics: Politics and Prose, James Robenalt, Ballots and Bullets, Cleveland
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Dec 9, 2018 Politics and Prose
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P&P is excited to continue the popular Romance Panel series with a theme Washingtonians are sure to love—politics! Join three talented local writers as they track affairs of the heart among Capitol Hill staffers, media figures, and assorted speechwriters, consultants, and bloggers. The discussion will be moderated by Andie J. Christopher, best-selling romance author, most recently of  Before Daylight . In  Campaign Widows  (Graydon House, $15.99), Aimee Agresti, a widely-published...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Aimee Agresti, Tracey Livesay, Kelly Maher
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Dec 9, 2018 Politics and Prose
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John Fea discusses his book, Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump,  at Politics and Prose on 7/7/18. As a historian and an evangelical Christian, Fea is uniquely suited to explain why some 80% of white evangelicals are Trump followers. His illuminating study argues that religion and politics have long influenced each other in this country, and he traces the rise of Trump as the logical outcome of a long-standing evangelical approach to public life defined by the politics of fear,...
Topics: Politics and Prose, John Fea, evangelical, Donald Trump
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Dec 9, 2018 Politics and Prose
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John F. Ross discusses his book, "The Promise of the Grand Canyon", at Politics and Prose on 7/5/18. John Wesley Powell (1834-1902) is best known for leading the first successful expedition down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. But that momentous feat was not the end of Powell’s career. Ross, former editor of  American Heritage  and award-winning author of  Enduring Courage  and  War on the Run,  vividly recreates Powell’s historic trip, then charts the wider...
Topics: Politics and Prose, John F. Ross, John Wesley Powell, Grand Canyon
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Dec 9, 2018 Politics and Prose
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Stephanie Feldman, Nathaniel Popkin, Malka Older, and Diana McKinney-Whetstone discuss their book, Who Will Speak For America?", at Politics and Prose on 7/2/18. With a title recalling Barbara Jordan’s question in the wake of the nation’s post-Watergate crisis, this anthology, a product of the January 2017 Writers Resist events, features the poems, stories, essays, and cartoons of forty writers grappling with the meaning of America in the Trump era. Looking back to the founders’...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Who Will Speak for America, Stephanie Feldman, Nathaniel Popkin, Malka Older,...
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Dec 9, 2018 Politics and Prose
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Richard O. Prum discusses his book, "The Evolution of Beauty", at Politics and Prose on 7/1/18. If survival of the fittest explains everything, what about traits so colorful, so flamboyant, so outrageous, that they could serve no purpose beyond ornament, calling attention to themselves and possibly even endangering their holders? Reviving Darwin’s tenuous theory of sexual selection, Prum, a Yale ornithologist and head curator of Vertebrate Zoology at the Yale Peabody Museum, caused...
Topics: Richard O. Prum, Richard Prum, The Evolution of Beauty, darwin, biology, Politics and Prose
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Nov 16, 2018 Politics and Prose
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Nell Painter discusses her book, Old in Art School , at Politics and Prose on 7/1/18. In her acclaimed  The   History of White People , Painter explored the myriad ramifications of the socio-political construction of race. In her new book she turns from history to memoir to give a similarly insightful and thought-provoking look at gender, aging, and art. This engaging narrative begins with Painter retiring from Princeton and earning BFA and MFA degrees in painting. The oldest in her classes,...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Nell Painter
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Nov 16, 2018 Politics and Prose
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Victoria Johnson discusses her book, American Eden, at Politics and Prose, on 6/30/18. If Dr. David Hosack (1769-1835) is remembered today, it’s likely because he was Alexander Hamilton’s physician. While he couldn’t save his patient after the fatal duel, Hosack left a lasting legacy as a social visionary and as one of the nation’s first environmentalists. Drawing on a wide range of historical and scientific sources, Johnson, associate professor of urban policy and planning at Hunter...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Victoria Johnson, David Hosack
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Nov 16, 2018 Politics and Prose
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Robert Kagan discusses his book, The Jungle Grows Back, at Politics and Prose on 10/14/18. Kagan’s concise essay makes a powerful case for why America should remain an interventionist nation and resist the current tendency to withdraw into isolationism. Using examples from throughout the twentieth century, including his own experience in the State Department in the 1980s, Kagan, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a columnist for  The Washington Post , argues that we can’t take...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Robert Kagan
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Nov 16, 2018 Politics and Prose
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Ramachandra Guha discusses his book, Gandhi: The Years That Changed The World, at Politics and Prose on 10/13/18 Guha launched his magisterial two-volume biography of Gandhi with Gandhi Before India, which chronicled the leader’s law apprenticeship in London, his unsuccessful early attempt to establish himself in Bombay, and his coming-of-age in South Africa, where he defended Indians and Muslims against discriminatory policies. The second installment picks up with Gandhi’s return to Bombay...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Ramachandra Guha, Ghandhi
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Nov 16, 2018 Politics and Prose
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Ben Bradlee Jr. discusses his book, The Forgotten, at Politics and Prose on 10/6/18. If many in the country still struggle to understand how Trump could win the presidency, Bradlee’s detailed report from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, provides some clear-sighted answers. A pivotal county in a swing state, Luzerne voted Democratic for decades. But as the region began to struggle economically, with jobs growing scarce and wages insufficient, people grew frustrated with the government’s failure...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Ben Bradlee Jr, The Forgotten, Rick Klein
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Oct 5, 2018 Politics and Prose
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Ruby Lal discusses her book, Empress, at Politics and Prose, on 7/15/18. Perhaps the most powerful woman in Muslim history, Nur Jahan (1577-1645), was the twentieth wife of Jahangir, the fourth Mughal emperor. A strong, fearless, and smart woman who was a noted hunter, accomplished architect, and canny diplomat, Nur Jahan didn’t just support her husband, but actively ruled along with him and even acted for him when he was indisposed. Many historians believe she was more decisive than her...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Ruby Lal, Empress, Nur Jahan
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Sep 21, 2018 Politics and Prose
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Editors Stephen Joel Trachtenberg and E. Gordon Gee discuss their book, Leading Colleges and Universities , at Politics and Prose on 9/15/18. From free speech and diversity to sexual harassment and fraternities, today’s institutions of higher learning face any number of urgent challenges. Co-edited with Gerald B. Kauvar and E. Gordon Gee, his follow-up to  Presidencies Derailed , a detailed look at why university presidencies fail, considers what we can learn from successful leaders of...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, E. Gordon Gee, higher education, college
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Sep 12, 2018 Politics and Prose
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David Quammen discusses his book, The Tangled Tree, at Politics and Prose on 8/15/18. Darwin famously described evolution as an elegantly branching tree of life. But as scientists have pursued molecular phylogenetics—the process of "reading the deep history of life and the patterns of relatedness” from DNA sequences—they’ve found that nature is more complicated, that life’s branches cross and converge and tangle in previously unsuspected ways. Quammen, the author of more than a...
Topics: Politics and Prose, David Quammen, Biology
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Sep 9, 2018 Politics and Prose
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Michael Arceneaux discusses his memoir, I Can't Date Jesus , at Politics and Prose on 7/31/18. Bitingly funny and deeply incisive, Arceneaux’s essays chart the journey of a brave and outspoken Black man determined to claim his place in a society that seems to have no room for him. A writer and cultural commentator for venues including  The Guardian ,  New York Magazine , MSNBC, VH1, and NPR, Arceneaux offers his distinctive sharp takes on sexuality, religion, race, and Beyoncé, interwoven...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Michael Arceneaux, I Can't Date Jesus, Demetria L. Lucas
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Sep 9, 2018 Politics and Prose
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Ibtihaj Muhammad discusses her book, Proud, at Politics and Prose on 7/28/18. From being the only African-American Muslim wearing a hijab in her hometown of Maplewood, New Jersey, to being the first veiled American woman to compete for the U.S. in the Olympics, Muhammad has always stood out, as much for her prodigious talent as for her courage and faith. Though she started fencing at the late age of thirteen, she quickly pushed beyond state and collegiate championships to become a five-time...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Ibtihaj Muhammad, fencing
Politics and Prose Bookstore
Sep 9, 2018 Politics and Prose
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Glen David Gold discusses his memoir, I Will Be Complete, at Politics and Prose, on 7/28/18. Gold drew on the accomplished and idiosyncratic lives of a magician and an actor for his novels  Carter Beats the Devil  and  Sunnyside.  Now he tells the equally colorful, surprising, and heartbreaking story of his own life. It started on a high note: Gold was born in 1964 to wealthy southern Californians. But in short order his father left, his parents divorced, and, when he was twelve, his mother...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Glen David Gold
Politics and Prose Bookstore
Sep 9, 2018 Politics and Prose
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Summer reading calls for mysteries, and P&P is pleased to present three exciting new thrillers by women writers. Join us for a reading and discussion, moderated by Rea Frey, the author of several nonfiction books whose first novel,  Not Her Daughter,  is forthcoming from St. Martin’s Griffin in August.             Michele Campbell , a lawyer and former New York City federal prosecutor, explored the twists and turns of friendship in her ingeniously plotted  It’s Always the...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Michele Campbell, Kelli Clare, Susie Orman Schnall
Politics and Prose Bookstore
Sep 9, 2018 Politics and Prose
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Onnesha Roychoudhuri discusses her book, The Marginalized Margin, at Politics and Prose on 7/23/18. In her dynamic and inspiring primer on resistance, Roychoudhuri speaks from both sharp journalistic engagement and the experiences of an Occupy activist and co-founder of Speech/Act to expose the myths of the old majority and mobilize the new one. In the face of today’s plurality of identities, Roychoudhuri shows, privileged whites are clearly the minority. Using examples from the civil rights...
Topics: Politics and Prose, Onnesha Roychoudhuri, The Marginalized Majority, Adele M. Stan